Hap Pitkin’s political cartoon (Camera, October 4) effectively pointed to Xcel’s use of money and fear to defeat Ballot Issues 2B and 2C.
From all the fancy mailers, web advertisements, and paid “volunteers”, it’s clear that Xcel and its partner, the Boulder Smart Energy Coalition, have extensive funds to fight against Boulder’s best interests (spending ten times what local “For” groups have spent). Xcel’s money comes from our bills.
It is important to separate the facts from the fears Xcel is pushing.
1. Rates – Fear: The city’s rates would skyrocket. Facts: The initial rates from a Boulder utility cannot be higher than Xcel’s rates. Xcel’s own rates have risen 20% in the last four years and are likely to continue to rise, due to their vulnerability to coal costs. Xcel takes $14 – $20 million dollars from Boulder each year in profit. The municipal will be non-profit.
2. Reliability – Fear: The lights will go out. Facts: Xcel’s reliability is lower than many other Colorado utilities. All front-range municipal utilities have better reliability than Xcel has in Boulder.
3. Renewables – Fear: We won’t really get more renewables. Facts: Increasingly, Xcel shuts off wind power and burns coal instead. This cost us $3.8 million in 2010. A city utility, using gas-powered electricity, could lower our carbon footprint right away and also provide a platform for ramping up renewables much more rapidly and to a higher level than Xcel can.
4. Governance – Fear: The City can’t run it. Facts: The City won’t run it. It will be run by professionals overseen by a Board of citizen and business representatives who are interested in keeping rates competitive and reliability high.
Don’t let money and unfounded fears determine this election. Get informed, get active and get out and vote YES on 2B and 2C.